Climate and Weather

#DisasterPreparedness: What to do before, during and after an earthquake

It is important to know what to do before, during and after an earthquake because of what happened on July 16, 1990 in Baguio City and other parts of Luzon. Exactly twenty nine years ago today, Baguio City and other nearby places were struck by a magnitude 7.8 killer earthquake, killing more than 1,600 people.

So as we remember what happened on that day, together let’s make sure that we’ve learned our lesson and are now ready to face disasters of any sort.

What to do before, during and after an earthquake

We have to learn and keep in mind what to do before, during and after an earthquake to avoid or at least reduce damages that it can cause.

What to do before an earthquake

Familiarize yourself with potential dangers in your area and do the following:

  1. Learn about and know the location of:
    • fire extinguishers
    • emergency exit doors
    • evacuation plan
    • medical kit
  2. Make sure your family’s earthquake kit is ready.
  3. Join earthquake drills at work, in school or the community.
  4. Check your house for damages and repair them if necessary.
  5. Carefully store and keep flammable materials and harmful chemicals.
  6. Secure hanging objects with fasteners and anchor heavy furniture to wall studs.

What to do during an earthquake

During an earthquake, try to stay calm, be alert and do the following:

When caught indoors, follow these steps:

  1. Find a sturdy table where you can duck, hold and cover but make sure to watch out for any signs of potential threats.
  2. Stay away from heavy objects that might fall like shelves, cabinets and others. Avoid glass windows as well.
  3. When it stops shaking, go outside immediately and proceed to the nearest evacuation area.

When outside, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Find an open area where you can stay.
  2. Stay away from areas that are prone to landslides. Avoid structures like buildings and power lines, and big trees too.
  3. If you are driving, stop the vehicle and go outside.

What to do after an earthquake

Always be alert and watch out for aftershocks.

  1. Check everyone and provide first aid to those who are injured.
    • Senior citizens, pregnant women, children and persons with disability (PWDs) should be the priority.
  2. Check for possible causes of danger like spills of flammable and toxic chemicals.
  3. Only return inside a building when advised that it is already safe.
  4. Check utility lines and LPG or gas for any leak and damages.


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